HIRP Research Brief

No. 7

Consumers, Gag Rules, and Health Plans: Strategies for a Patient-Focused Market
May 1997

Authors

Lynn Etheredge & Stanley Jones

Summary

The gag rule controversy has become a symbol of new tensions and changing relationships among patients, physicians, and health plans. This paper offers a consumer-focused analysis of these fundamental issues from the point of view of a patient with a chronic illness. It starts with a case study of a specific individual and then considers the systemic incentives and other factors that lead to conflicts among patients, physicins, and health plans.

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